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tv   Book TV After Words  CSPAN  August 4, 2013 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT

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that sort of thig. they have elected several members to the legislature and politically i think probably hautboys election in nevada for the last two presidential cycles is largely due to the union to get the members and the family is out to vote. it is a very politically conscious city. . .
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and this respected like a maid, the big corporate heads are not this respected -- this
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respected. i think that is a terrible thing because people worked tremendously hard for the casino and for their families, they worked for the community so it means a lot for me to be able to share their stories and up next on booktv "after words" with guest host andrew blum author of a journey to the center of the internet. this week susan crawford and her book "captive audience the telecom industry and monopoly power in the gilded age p quote the special assistant to the president on science technology argues the u.s. is no longer the forefront of the internet revolution. internet capabilities of other
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countries are faster and cheaper than in the u.s. which could threaten the economic future. this program is about an hour. >> speethree for being with us. >> i look forward to talking with you. >> let's talk about the basics. what is the status of broadband in america today? >> we have a picture that is quite different from the other developed nations. we have the high states of and download speeds in america cable monopolies, local monopolies and each region of the country that dominate that market and so for 85% of americans the only choice where they live is going to be at their local cable monopolists. we don't have any of the fastest 25 cities in the world when it comes to internet access in america so we are not in the world leaders we are somewhere in the middle of the pack and we also have a very deep digital
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divide. so having internet access at home is tied to your economic status some may be about half of people with incomes between 30, $50,000 a year have internet connections at home but that number is even lower with incomes under $30,000 a year. rich people tend to have internet access at home, and also 9% of americans can't buy internet access wherever they live because it is just not available and hasn't been billed out to their areas of that is the picture. >> host: how did we get here? it seems that the the internet started here and dominates country like to google or facebook or apple still dominate the internet globally. what is the divide and why hasn't it led to people's home? >> guest: the great thing about the internet is that you can reach anybody. that is the whole point they are the universal addressable system and the whole idea is that the content provider like google wouldn't be subject to the wind of the telecom provider.
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but we have a huge split between the ideals and the openness which depend on openness and productivity. and the spirit and the warriors and money expense. >> host: we started off with the leaders world, the envy of the world. and in about the 70's -- i am skipping history here, the cable industry was launched in america. it was just for one way entertainment, but as they started competing particularly in the late 70's, cable had a tremendous advantage which was local exclusive franchises and then in 1984 they completely deregulated cable. so since 1984 and now, cable with its model not being particularly open, you know, not
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being available for the address of devotee everywhere has taken the lead in a financial matter. it's cheaper to update the cable system than to build up the phone wires and every place them with fiber. so we've got to this place of local monopolies as a result of just a false vacuum's of the united states. we got rid of a common history of the carriage under which the telephone operators hadn't operated. they had to take everything and make sure it got to a place it wanted to go and they were not allowed to pick and choose. this was a trade-off for the enormous expense it took to build the telephone system. secure is the deep problem. these are infrastructure elements that are expensive to build and operate on huge economies of scale. and cable has taken the lead and dominates the market and the telephone companies are backing off. as a result of all of this we have no plan to upgrade to the very high speeds around the
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world, and the cable operators have no particular obligation to serve all of america the closest internal digital divide. some years we got there. i would love to spell that out in detail, plus the economics of how extensive it is to build. it's very difficult to see any competitor to cable shopping at right now. >> host: if there had been a moment where the cable companies would have had to act to recognize and however it would have been regulated with having to be recognized that to be the same philosophy that applied to shall come for 100 years that is not the case. >> guest: that is in the case and hasn't been the case for 30 years. in 1984 weedy regulated cable almost entirely and we tried to get that back in 1982. but there's nothing in the '96 action that would make them act differently. so for the last 30 years, cable has been building under the
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assumption that they wouldn't be essentially regulate it very much. they see themselves as any private storm in the corner. it's this kind of obligation to serve anybody at a reasonable cost to connect with other networks to the none of that is a part of their industry that was a part of the telephone industry. but they lost this battle to serve americans. the almost back off and they have run into their corner which is wireless so verizon and at&t are mostly wireless companies not providing the wired infrastructure tips we have the high prices and the digital divide internally and the country as a whole is siding in the national competition to more connectivity. >> host: let's talk about the
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common carriage. it does seem to be a way of thinking that we could be dissatisfied in the need for broadband. how is it executed? >> guest: this goes all the way that people in europe. the idea of where you hold yourself out to the public and providing data communications facility in even though you are a private company. so the whole idea of common carriage which actually came but then traveled to railroads and then reaches the telephone industry in 1910 is that in exchange for a essentially a profit moly you get to provide people with surfaces beauty gone public burdens to charge a reasonable rate and serve everyone and to not discriminate when it comes to content. so it's not been applied to the cable companies if applied to
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the high-speed internet access picture in america >> host: what are the fritz? the digital divide. i want to focus more to begin life on the notion of the free and open internet on the sort of threats of democracy not just on the divide, but honda possibilities that the isp and the telecom is actively sheltering or whatever the prices are coming to you put that ahead of the five or the digital divide? >> guest: one is a subset of the affair. with no competition essentially for the high-speed internet access in america, the provider has every incentive and no limitations for the price discrimination to make sure that it's reaching the markets not serving the poor systematically which helps the digital divide issue and ensuring they can provide specialized services to
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of the loan demand will. the risks can't be overstated. you can think of the cable as just one blow of water and that price is controlled absolutely by the gate keeper just about four channels right now apply to the internet access. they are moving the technology that would essentially and differentiate all the same stuff but the gatekeeper can pick and choose among the can in a kitchen and look at whatever it wants to when you thought you were going to chicago all opportunities for shifting the dial's but would remove the threat to them of the competition from the services that they would like to sell americans. some think if anything, home security, video, whatever it is, they can choose what would feel
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more alive to the consumer and pick and choose among what goes on line and just deliver that. so it's like living in a gated community. take the idea of the internet which is all about not having to ask for permission and reach anybody in the world. and speaking of that on top of an infrastructure which is absolutely controlled by a set of me before or five gatekeepers there is a deep conflict and the threats are real. >> host: you have been restrained yet in your book is about the story of comcast and nbc universal. you mentioned four or five companies, comcast you have not mentioned specifically. threat you are talking about is that present or future and are there signs that threat is now or is it more concern for the future of this monopoly power
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cracks >> guest: they are careful to restrain themselves. they fight each other for franchises in the 70's and etds we call them the franchise war. since then there has been tremendous consolidation for comcast by far the giant. the of 50 million in their footprint in 39 states and about 45% of the american population is within the comcast footprint. they never compete with their big company brother in and never enter each other's markets. they've divided the country among themselves so cut time warner has a separate and it's very big second coming of a distant second but not quite up with comcast and there's others, carter, cablevision and when it comes to the wired high-speed internet access, they dominate with the exception of cablevision which has defied all field of competition. but everybody else pretty much
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stands alone. so the threat is real today to a company like say netflix. so, netflix is responsible for about half of internet traffic and it is eating up a lot of profit. and but their future is entirely the dependent on what the cable companies decide to do with them. whether they make it less convenient for netflix to bring its stream close to people so they can be seen easily and quickly, whether the cable companies start charging based on usage so people will start assuming that accessing netflix is going to drive their internet access bill of even higher so that they will drop netflix. so the economic future completely is dependent. and all -- that is just one story of hundreds of thousands that have to do with the power of a single gatekeeper overall information reaching american homes.
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>> host: in my own inspiration the national internet works it is a lot of competition. the backbone companies are not particularly profitable. the prices are constantly dropping. bandwidth is constantly going up. but then again at the moment where the international networks have to connect to comcast, that becomes very contrast it. >> host: this is the entire picture. it is cheap and should be getting cheap. to carry long-distance and yet because of this bottleneck controlled by a few actors with access to the home they can charge whatever they want. so where you might see the contested market, and i actually i'm not sure that that is going to see the case because there are stops with each other, but
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anyway putting that aside, even though the band with is getting cheaper and the computation is getting cheaper the whole price of the system is going down except for businesses and consumers that have to buy these connections because there's absolutely no control over the price and so price quote become a liability, all of that is up for grabs and the cable industry by the way has the lowest reading of the consumer satisfaction and any industry in america. >> host: do you think americans will stand a very long? we have the industry power and possibilities. im vision bdy is almost like a organic internet access, whatever you want to call it but there is a future in which if there are possibilities for different options we can choose a surface that if it is not public and perhaps this transparent or it is past,
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something that sorted has some spirit not separate from these giant monopolies. do you think people would choose that if the opportunity were there? >> guest: is there an assumption behind the ability even have to choose? i'm not sure that makes sense. that's because these services is as an economic matter or a monopoly. it is so expensive to build them out initially. and then you need a lot of revenue flowing in to pay yourself back for that. and it doesn't make sense to have more than one wire to a home. and so it's very difficult for the competitors to enter this field. it's just like water or electricity. you wouldn't want to of those connections to your home for which he would choose. it's to ensure that there is a fiber to the home connection and
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every single citizen is just like clean water and electricity >> host: the whole connection meaning the strand of class allows some this information. >> guest: what is the stock is that the cable physical connection as often second-best to progress. so the cable is called the hybrid coaxial and was built initially this network for the passage consumption of information, and it can be upgraded to very high download speeds to. but as an upload matter it is very cramped in this architecture. we think of ourselves as all publishing and going to the doctors from our homes, all these things we should be doing. that is going to require a fiber to the home connection and as
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you said, a single strand of a class they carry 90,000 tv channels and they can be upgraded infinitely as far as we can tell. >> guest: the capacity is integrated with the electronics on the end. >> host: who owns the fiber and how do you begin to build that out? >> guest: with a deep tradition of private operators building our networks subject to public obligations. that is where the phone company came from and worked very well. and that's where this fiber optic national network eventually is going to come from. i see a progression all over the united states that are really irritated about the high prices and a fellow capacity networks they are stuck with and so they are agitating for fiber to be built in their businesses and then to their consumers' homes.
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that progression is a patchwork across the country and it will eventually reach a tipping point of jealousy and awareness in america, which will change federal policy in the drive towards having an integrated national network but not national lives, not owned by the government. that is a tradition of how we do things. that being the private actors a reasonable rate of return in exchange for what is essentially a monopoly on services where the operate it works pretty well. we can also -- what happens in many developed countries b.c. the operator has to be a wholesale level only had this is coming on and singapore and many european countries and australia. the operator then is obliged to not allow the retail competitors to reach. people call this home retail. so imagine you run into a new house somewhere in america and
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in the utility's you get water and you get electricity in the super system and you get a trace of internet service providers, retail internet service providers. they will be traveling to you over the standardized wholesale fiber tale that has been built to your house. so, this happens in full today to move into an apartment you have a trace of three or four fiber into the home providers and 50 or 40 bucks a month or the metric which means equal uploading and they are about to the plate to a gigabit. so lots of choice, very low prices and a standard wholesale infrastructure across the entire country. >> host: this is happening in some places in the u.s. can you describe what is happening? >> guest: in chattanooga the electrical utility decided that
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a great side business would be to use their connections to every home in the electrical utilities to provide a string of fiber and we are doing that. we are selling services to residents. they don't have the retail competition that i just explained but it is in the business of making the reasonable price available to everybody. so as a result, the businesses are moving to chattanooga, and they are very excited. devotee part is excited about this because they are getting the reasonably priced access which to them feels like a utility. >> host: how to the cable companies feel about it? >> guest: there is a lot of litigation about the system. and more than the 19 states in america it's either difficult for the cities to do this because the excessing operators the cable companies and that telephone companies build in the statehouses and say the cities shouldn't be allowed to compete
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with us and they tried to make it very difficult for cities to do this. so we see that pattern over and over and again and i'm hopeful in the next few years some of these will roll back because it doesn't make sense. we removed the power of self-determination. >> host: what is the logic for it all? it is bad for american hunton consumers to not have a choice of cable or fiber. is it purely their power of the lobby or is there the business argument that they have to invest in their network? is that what it is? >> host: it gets a lot of attraction for saying we are serving these communities perfectly well. the city is going to waste money by going into this business and its socialist somehow except for this error of not letting the cities get into the business. we went through exactly the same battle with electricity in the beginning of the 20th century where the cities wanted to run their own systems and the private monopoly said don't do
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that that is a terrible risk for the fabric of the american society. so, details about those claims in the state is the attraction they get is this feeling that the government shouldn't be in the business of even commissioning internet access services much less building them or owning them and that is enormously attractive to people in a time when the government has less and less money. so, a contrast story is that it's very cost-effective for the city to be patient with capital and to guarantee the loans to private operators to build the systems that pay that back for several years and then they are freed and clear and they are not try to buy a single gatekeeper that is going to gouge their business. >> host: how does the analogy play with that? is that the correct analogy to say they built the highway system? they can say we are treading on gravel roads behind the truck.
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does that resonate as an alternative we of thinking about it rather than going to the movies and buying a ticket from your part of the theater as you might imagine comcast or tv entertainment? >> guest: sometimes people say look we made sure that there were real words across the united states. reasonable republican we dealt to connect all americans and not to leave people behind. this is in fact the business of government. for some people that has traction but there is enough fear in the government to be involved in communications but an instinctive reaction. this is a fairly new reaction. today is the anniversary of the first polygraph and at that point they would naturally be involved where the lawyers would be strong and who would get the right to have that franchise that made all the sense in the world. today we seem to have some nervousness but in fact this is
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the only way the government intervention is the only way to make sure that everybody gets a connection at a reasonable price. we can still have price factors building and operating the the have to be subject to public oversight otherwise the incentives don't align and the companies are not evil. it's in their interest to maximize their profits by picking perfect neighborhoods and paying more and more for service, and by not taking the risk of running the wires out to neighborhoods that are in the barely populated areas and by keeping the prices as high as possible. >> host: there is an irony in that in that our interests are constrained and we do not have the choice. the last 15 years we've gone from paying 35 cents for a cup of coffee to a separate from the digital divide in the rich and poor there isn't even an option for the superior service in any form. >> host: it is as if all water
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became bottled. there should just be flow of communication available to everyone in the country. it's like electricity. we turn on lights and we don't even think about it. it's just an input into everything we do as a country. it should be the same thing that because we have been a little confused, there's a lot of fog around this issue and people have the sense that internet access is a luxury. what's interesting is that it was treated as a luxury in the early 20th century people said water everybody needs the electricity is only for the rich, and it took decades to change the perception of electricity from one thing to the other. within this little point right now, we're internet access is still viewed as something slightly magical or expensive, but talked to someone who is trying to run a business for his home, for him internet access is just like breathing pity you can't even get going without
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having that reasonably priced connection and now there is no option for it. >> host: the phone runs over the internet and we get our tv over the internet. it has a habit of swallowing everything. >> host: we shouldn't get confused between layers. the internet is the agreement of a computer to speak to another computer using a pravachol. i'm talking about this very basic infrastructure which used to be used for entertaining from the cable companies. that is now the single line to most american homes being used for absolutely everything. as it is the infrastructure that swallowed everything. this followed internet access, it swallowed phones, the system is diene, journalism is having trouble. but it's the idea of a high-capacity digital why your. it becomes a platform for absolutely everything. we need at least one after that is in charge of it and no competitions that is pretty
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disastrous for everything we think about in the freedom of information and economic growth. i do think that this terrible situation as dragging down the entire united states economy. but if every business could depend on this basic connectivity we would be doing better as a nation. most of the electricity analogy the stakes are even higher than that because it's not just of the light goes on and off, but we are the core of our democracy of the freedom of information. >> guest: it should be scary to people that everything they learned is under the control of a single company. >> guest: it isn't so. >> host: for some reason americans are not marching in the streets about this one. but a lot that has to do with a lack of awareness. we are not aware of what is happening in other countries or at really care what's happening in south korea or sweden or the
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northern european countries or maybe china beat china may be the story that takes this and maybe they will wake up and say what have we done. but china is committed to getting these high-capacity fiber connections to every home as quickly as they can they are building these homes and they see this as part of their infrastructure story to create a giant middle class that consumes a lot of stuff and there is a lot of that online. we have no plan to do this and as a result we are falling further and further behind and maybe that will get americans interested. my goal is to reach as many people i think i can change the world just by educating. and then they will figure out what to do in their communities to make sure this connectivity exists and then gradually get to the point where federal policy also changes. >> host: they are inheriting local. we think of it as a global network in fact the connectivity
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attacked the neighborhood unit is going about with of these changes. >> guest: because they are so great and once you build the thing it is so cheap to add an additional customer that the neighborhood level may not be the right of agreement of interest to dig up the streets and self labor and then try to depend on someone else to pick up your communications at a reasonable cost. there's been lots of bottlenecks are not that neighborhood almost as if you have to go through a citywide we are doing this and we are glad to make sure that everybody has fiber and that that city is strong enough in the negotiations to demand reasonable rates from the next provider of the chain, the so-called middle provider in carrying it from the city outskirts through the internet backbone. i'm not sure the neighborhood is
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the right entrance. >> host: i.c.e. lot of opportunity in the competition at the middle while and how to connect as a way of opening up as well. certainly in new york city of abundant and with just on the in a few buildings to is actually this building is one of the net turns out. but we get across the street and it's a whole nother story. so i would be curious if there is a way of sort of leveraging the places where there is abundant in band with that is cheaper. >> guest: you would have to force them to what the neighborhood connect said at a reasonable rate and that's how tricky. one of them would have to break from the pack in order to do this, and more and more even in new york more and more are owned by private equity companies who don't have an interest in just offering of a nondiscriminatory connections. it's not there and that is in their business.
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they want high-capacity and their businesses where they can make a lot of money. so, breaking this whole system open is just on the order for a week to do with oil and railroads add electricity. it takes ultimately national leadership to say this is a problem, we are dramatically under serving the population on which we depend and as a country we are going to fix it. >> host: who have been the actors in that speaking out against that? who are the competitive voices? is an organization like the personal democracy forum or the organizations? what is the collective voice? you have been a strong and voice in some ways. why aren't there more organizations? >> host: there is a movement the just aren't aware.
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there are lots and lots of municipal efforts around the country, hundreds of them. the individuals say we have to fix this, it is awful. i need a reasonably priced connection that's part of being a decent respect of human beings. that's what i need. and they are very active in their localities. there is no particular reason for them to speak out on a national scale because they are solving their local problems and there is no particular reason for them to be abrogating like i really think they should because again when you are sitting in your living room, you are choosing among the very physical attributes of the internet. you are looking for someone to tell you that service and so they haven't been resources bound together to form a collective to the march on capitol hill. they do often, the municipalities march on local or state house of representatives. so just in march 1 of the terrible bills was proposed that would have removed the power of
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the cities to elect to commission and the municipal network from everybody in georgia if there was in that city a very crafty wireless signal available to those people the state bill would have said you can't compete with that. and in georgia the city managers, and vegetables, representatives in the state rose up and d.c. did that bill. i am hoping that is the turning point for this state level to make it difficult on the level. >> host: there's a contradiction for the need of the local infrastructure and the nationwide movement. a surprise to me again because that is what the internet does. it find people across the stands and allows them to inform those groups. but the infrastructure is always local. >> host: ayaan so glad that you raised this point because there is something about the fundamental issues that it doesn't cross over to the people that love the internet and claim
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to love the internet, but they still believe that if you geek around on this there's some kind of app that went to fix it. a app cannot fix the infrastructure in america where we really have a natural monopoly that's been operated on by cable companies. and the only way to get around it is actually to force them to act differently. so, the uprising against the copyright law that may have constrained operations on the internet in higher levels was an enormous. that hasn't yet crossed over to concern about this problem and that's what i am trying to help to the chris collected all the distinction the to the communication company's, particularly as the information companies are in the business quite literally of building
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infrastructure making most specifically about a company like google that has a website now that is a global network on the return. is that communication verses information, is that a -- is that something you thought about at all? is that the right way to phrase it or a legal way of phrasing it? >> host: >> guest: we treated cell phone companies like communication companies and then be regulated the entire sector when people of right to beat the wanted to be treated like cable it would have been subject to no rules at all. they said peter gist and information company that sells you content. so release us from any possibilities. instead of leveling out all of the obligations for both of the actors we leveled down and now both telephone companies and cable companies are treated like just information providers. they tell you here is your sandwich essentially they aren't selling you communications. >> host: the information used to come from the company.
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now very often the company by is the information from you. >> guest: i think you are right for companies let's think of the google as basically a use of the internet to provide search engine functionality and get us very quickly to things we want to see. and google is experimenting now with actually building fiber networks, and they have done this in kansas city and they've announced they are going to do it in austin. they will cover ultimately a very small portion of the united states populace. >> host: they indicated they might go better with that. there has been some indication of that to the >> guest: we wouldn't want google to that and we shouldn't wait for them to do that. we need an intentional policy that doesn't just swap out time warner cable to exchange one monopoly for another provider subject to regulation but
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actually provide for oversight and make sure that everybody is there. what google is doing is interesting and constructive. i don't actually disagree. i don't think they are going to go that far with it. they just want to show it's possible to make money building fiber to the home under certain conditions. and people love it in kansas city. every part of society is talking about this market. it's a big deal. >> host: i have been less restrained about this. for me the notion of a single company controlling the post office and also controlling the infrastructure is essentially the creation of alternative internet, not just the internet, but the net. >> guest: compared to what? fahmy, the google experiment is like the world's fair. we couldn't imagine use of electricity until the giant world fair back at the beginning
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of the planet century. people went to visit in the face of the electric kitchens and the idea of electric appliances at the times. so, kansas city for me is the welfare of very high capacity standardized connectivity that people are going to live in that and experience it and touch it and hulett and that will derived the policy. so i am more interested in the experiment as the digitalization of what is possible. volume concerned and i share your concerns that if you have one after the coup actor doing something that is for bulkeley integrated there are risks to the free flow of information. google earth swears they are not using data from people in kansas city to travel over building search engines without permission of people buying the connectivity. they put a firewall between their actions of communication providers and of information
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providers. but i'm with you that mall could break down at any time. but as i said, sort of the twinkling of the kansas city network is the change that it makes to our -- we don't make progress until we see something and we can't believe it until we see at triet >> host: to pick up on the firewall i do want to touch on the nsa and the news over the last month or so now of systematic tapping or collection of information to begin again, it is striking to me there was a moment when, you know, it was a phone tapping. the information was passing by and the nsa or the fbi or whatever jurisdiction was wiretapping phones and now what is a different model. the flow of information, we don't know the details but it is ostensibly taking it from the datacenter or from the microsoft data center.
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where does this -- could this be the tipping point on this moment in the way that we treat -- they control the freedom and openness of the network? >> guest: for me this story is just a continuation of a long story of surveillance by the government. it's different in degrees, but not actually in kind. in the 20th century, every single telegraph sent from the united states to another country was systematically copied by the government and maintained. there was widespread domestic surveillance of networks. now today we try to constrain using oh-la-la on our domestic intelligence surveillance, but we have also built networks that carry our inmost thoughts and dreams in ways that telephone calls may not have. so, we know that the nsa and the past has systematically copied
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wholesale all internet transmission's going through large exchange points on the coast to save a copy for themselves just in case someday they might need it. they are building a gigantic 2 billion-dollar data center in utah that they will retain forever. >> host: the data center interestingly. >> guest: that is interesting, but there are two actors in the world's wonders and all this stuff, the head of the nsa and the head of google, and they are both very powerful in terms of their ability to fulfil the information. as a lawyer with my background, i would like to see much more process associated with this wholesale surveillance. i don't think it makes sense to be capturing absolutely everything without any reason, without any justification or oversight. that is the first position for me to read the second position would be if we are swallowing
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everything, then running of the inquiry against that stuff should only be done in a judicial oversight. we should only have real visibility into what is happening with the attention of all of that information and how things break through. i agree with you that our intelligence actors are using these pools of data created abroad to just vacuum up and inhale all possible information about people's lives connected in these networks. but that's always happened. it's just there is more of it now than they're used to be a pity that you always relied on the judicial frameworks that constrain the snc shall appetite for data. right now all of them are being routed around and that is what needs to change. >> host: it is an amazing a summitry that you have presented the. we talked about the sort of -- you write at length about the culture of telecom. we talk about the culture of
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washington. what is the culture of silicon valley. how does that play into this? what is their intent and their master vision? >> host: google and facebook for me are like espn, these successful content companies without which the infrastructure guys can't survive. you have to see it as a powerful negotiation who gets to pete who up. they can beat up the communications companies. the need each other. they are sort of an lockstep. so for those companies they are not going to rock the boat with this particular policy problem, monopoly infrastructure. they don't want to say go get that monopoly because they don't want to be in that same sentence. so if you are saying sebelius on facebook they keep the status quo in place. they are like the bullies in the schoolyards who are all in their particular corners and the of
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their markets and they don't really beat each other and so the status quo is locked in place with them to that i am hopeful there is another which is an upstart smaller company whose future will be dependent on a lot of information flowing to ban at irascible market in america that is not subject to one gatekeeper locally. they should really be exercised about this to the they could say how is it my destiny provides on 30 rock? that can't be. they should be getting together and taking on this issue. here's the problem and here is my problem with silicon valley. i love techies. they're my favorite people but they seem to think that you can geek around everything. but what a drag. that culture is pretty in green in silicon valley. george parker had a beautiful piece about this in the new yorker recently.
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but it is sort of assumed the world will work the way they want it to and they do not have a center of some social content of the national obligation to make sure that everybody gets a reliable and a decent standard of living. that's not something you think about. >> host: the promise of the internet is often talked about as the democratization of everything. whether that is youtube or crowd funding or the ability to access that information from anywhere and by anyone. you are a very could stie high capacity application it is going to be using a lot of band width and you will begin to look more like netflix that is competing with product the cable company wants to sell. succumb this mismatch between what people think of as the internet yet the reality of the play some and the lawyers is
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fascinating and your work explaining how the internet actually does its job and how it is transported over the pipes and wires is extremely important to make it clear. >> host: we share a pessimistic view of the broadband in america as things stand at the moment to let it mostly worked. it's difficult. sometimes i catch myself. we are watching three movies and occasionally it doesn't work but it does most we work. are we seeing the future? out of the legal background to the study of the monopoly? >> guest: we are studying from the poverty of imagination to be the of the demonstration cases that would show us what life would be like. it should be the connectivity, even something to think about. it's just there and it should be
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that we are present, full humanly present to anybody in the world at any time. it should be that every role can be a screen. why is it just a to a fast-talking? we can talk about a silicon valley actually is. exactly. but so very high capacity and zero latency networks will make that possible. imagine if your aging parent could stay at home and never have to go to the hospital unless it was a real emergency and i believe to be visited by a friendly neighbor and there would be fiber access connection to a doctor who would see him or her. we can't even imagine that right now. >> host: full screen of no special networks. it's remarkable. the cost is enormous, tens of thousands of dollars a month. >> guest: it shouldn't be.
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that's because it is sold by dedicated companies with dedicated lines. if there is a network that allows for that kind of connection, anybody could sell that. it shouldn't cost anything. it should be like text in. >> host: skype is a version of that. it should be able to be like that. >> guest: that latency and all of the problems with that and the resolutions we are not satisfied that and the deepest human need is to communicate with that in the high-capacity networks we should be able to do that and we will do that. we can't even imagine that now. so we think things seem all right and we fumble with our phones and we stare-down at this spending circle and we don't realize what we were missing as a result. >> host: as a fundamental space need as well in your book, it's good for america, can you
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elaborate with. >> guest: to make sure everybody gets a first-class education we make sure that hospitals are treating people well and we make sure that our food isn't adel to read it. it is a function of having a decent life and being able to communicate and being able to be a part of society that every that it's a reasonably priced communications connection to the this was easy as the nation's. we have since forgotten that these are essentials space values to be able to communicate and be able to travel without it being impeded. we are suffering from indonesia and different reasons and it is in the interest of giant companies to keep us a little bit in the dark. >> host: you have been talking about these as an author. what is your motive for this?
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you are acting as a lone wolf at the moment. there was a petition on the white house that you should be the chair of the ftc. how do you continue this work? >> guest: i am privileged to have met a lot of the internet engineers and the washington players, and they are all wonderful people and i am privileged to have served in the white house and to have been involved in this high level. i feel it is my duty to keep explaining this issue and until everybody gets it and to do it in a dispassionate and a fact based why so that ultimately we stop being bullied. this is actually about just being bullied by comcast and we haven't talked about why your list yet but verizon and at&t, they've got us and it's just not fair and it's not good for the
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country. they keep talking that i'm not alone. there are lots of people around the country that understand this and i'm lucky that i wrote a book. this object gives me the opportunity to talk to people about. >> host: there is always the refrain of silicon valley. who can see the future first? it isn't yet evenly distributed him. the realm in which you are not doing municipal broadband startup, that isn't your approach to >> guest: its to explain the startups together. i think that is something important so to try to empower as many 20 some things as i can. they understand this. they don't understand how we got to this point and to make sure they act together that seems important to me. mcgeorge this is a question raised in every debate. in australia the seventh time your e elections on whether
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fiber is going to happen or not. why not in america? the president recently said that in five years, 99% of schools and libraries in america will have fiber connections to put money into that endeavor. that's deutsch and that is another tipping point. we care about this when it comes to kids. now all we have to do is care about the rest. my idea is to upgrade to fiber is an affable but if we wait for the income and to deal with the existing companies, it's not in their interest to speed this up because they are doing very well on the status quo. i want to speed things up and make sure that this catches fire across the country. >> host: are they the apparatus to do that? do they have a dozen feet for that? >> guest: the field of power that you're choosing at the moment not to exercise. so the fcc could label every
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provider of high-speed internet access as a common carrier. it's within its power to do that. they say look you are doing this transport function. as a result, you have an obligation to serve everybody had a reasonable cost, to connevecome every other network tha of administrative labeling. and the fcc right now is facing a case in front of the d.c. circuit where it is gone through some gymnastics to try to pretend not to label everybody. the high-speed internet access providers but yet maintain some power over them and the port is likely to say that's not to repeat their label them as a communication brighter or don't but don't try to make it your authority from other parts of your statute. so, after case is decided which is probably february or march of 2013, the fcc will be confronted with a harsh price of what to do to label everybody on the communications provider and then
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exercise the authority they have or broker a risky deal to obtain better treatment for america. i would much rather see the former rather than the latter. he's a terrific guy named tom wheeler. he's deeply experienced and he has the backbone. he can back it that if he thinks it is the right thing to do. i am hopeful that when he is in on this issue we will get a lot of attention. >> host: that brings us into 2014. it's coming soon. >> guest: in the next six to eight months it will be interesting in the communications policy. what i am hoping for is face sharp edge moment that gets galvanizing on the public attention, gets people activated on this issue and gives the fcc the political cover that it needs to change its views and gives them a years across the country their cover. it's all about case in power
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because the language exists in oh-la-la it just has to be used. >> host: went to pick up on that and slightly more personal, think about as well what it is about looking at the politics and power it will be understood this. i understood asking people what they did and how these places were built on the internet. what was your evolution into this from oh-la-la more generally to telecom more specifically? >> guest: i worked for one of the very first computer law firms. i represented yahoo! way back when they were cool. they are cool again now. it's this whole idea that's the most important time to introduce a new business without asking anybody for permission because there's a standard protocol to talk to anybody across the world so that is amazing.
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i thought that they were just irrelevant and then they rose up to it i spent ten years learning their vocabulary, learning the acronyms try yang to figure out what the art up to. malae and understand what they do and i see that it is just about power and money and the natural monopolies of size and scale that makes it difficult for any competitor to enter. but all of this for me is in the service of that internet idea which is world shaking. the idea that a farmer can sell on land speak to anybody that can reach any size audience without a gatekeeper getting in the way. i want to keep that in the way. there should be a global interoperable internet and whiteaker i can do to help further that is what i am going to do. >> guest: i think there is a groundswell of people bring in that original bill whereas in
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silicon valley has become so much about making a million dollars. that intent is always clear especially from the start upside but i hope there are more and more people singing remember what this was about. >> guest: and you can make money in the system because the united states is always going to do better. we pushed the idea of an open network and tcip as a foreign policy and that made a lot of markets in other countries possible but because we are in ingenious we can up with this stuff to be the next moment where we can push for free high-capacity networks in the united states and elsewhere that are open, that allow for anybody to build the new business to get and we will do better by lowering the barriers to that because we are so ingenious. >> host: that is a great place to stop. thank you for your time today. >> guest: thank you so much for having me. ..
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